1997

Re: Macbeth

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.0981.  Tuesday, 30 September 1997.

[1]     From:   Jung Jimmy <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 29 Sep 1997 16:10 -0500
        Subj:   Good and Bad in the Scottish Play

[2]     From:   John M Boni <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 29 Sep 1997 16:21:08 -0500 (CDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0973  Re: Mac Ending

[3]     From:   Skip Nicholson <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 29 Sep 1997 18:49:56 -0700
        Subj:   Re: Mac Ending


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jung Jimmy <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 29 Sep 1997 16:10 -0500
Subject:        Good and Bad in the Scottish Play

My mind wanders and I was wondering what would happen if Macbeth's
adversaries were played as more evil and less heroic.  If Duncan, Banquo
and Malcolm were lound noisy oafish soldiers and Macbeth was the
slightly ambitious hero.

What if at Duncan first appearance he marches on to a field of bleeding
dying men, kicks one, grabs him by the hair and says :

DUNCAN
    What bloody man is that? He can report,
     As seemeth by his plight, of the revolt
     The newest state.

Would it ruin the play?

Has it ever been performed that way?

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John M Boni <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 29 Sep 1997 16:21:08 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: 8.0973  Re: Mac Ending
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0973  Re: Mac Ending

Tim Richards asks if anyone has seen a production of *Macbeth* depicting
the witches as finally watching triumphantly over Macbeth's demise,
etc.  It seems to me that I recall one such production but cannot place
it as to location, date, or other details.  What I do recall is a
negative reaction-it all seemed too obvious.  But then, I have trouble
with the witches in the play anyhow.  Sorry about that.

[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Skip Nicholson <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 29 Sep 1997 18:49:56 -0700
Subject:        Re: Mac Ending

I hope some director, somewhere has brought the witches back to enjoy
the final bloodletting in Macbeth as Tim Richards suggests might be fun.
I've never seen it done, BUT Polanski's movie of Macbeth ends, as I
recall, with everyone heading off to Malcolm's investiture. Everyone,
that is, except Donalbain, who rides into the landscape used for the
witches' big scenes while the soundtrack reprises the theme music
associated with the weird sisters. The suggestion is strong that
paddock, Graymalkin & Co. have more work to do before they sleep!

Skip Nicholson
South Pasadena (CA) HS

Many Queries

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.0980.  Tuesday, 30 September 1997.

[1]     From:   Jodi Clark <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 29 Sep 1997 17:48:15 +0200 (IST)
        Subj:   Re: High School Curriculums

[2]     From:   Eduardo del Rio <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 29 Sep 1997 12:51:23 -0500
        Subj:   CUNY Announcement

[3]     From:   Patricia Palermo <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 29 Sep 1997 14:05:08 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Itilpa and Shalum

[4]     From:   Carl Fortunato <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 29 Sep 97 22:40:00 -0400
        Subj:   Malvolio

[5]     From:   Jung Jimmy <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 30 Sep 1997  0:06 -0500
        Subj:   Laughing and Crying, you know it's the same release

[6]     From:   Hiroyuki Todokoro <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 30 Sep 1997 18:20:33 +0900
        Subj:   merry or weary?


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jodi Clark <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 29 Sep 1997 17:48:15 +0200 (IST)
Subject:        Re: High School Curriculums

Greetings.  I am currently student teaching at a high school which
actually has a drama program.  So, I am looking to try to do some scene
work with Shakespeare, as they have had little to no exposure to it,
excepting in English class.  Right now, their grasp on the language is
minimal, at best.  They have that very typical disdain for that "old
stuff" instilled, I imagine by very boring English classes.  The only
thing they have read for me so far is Hamlet's "To be, or not to be. .
." speech.  But they even had a hard time with that.  Does anyone have
some curriculum materials they would be willing to share, or lesson plan
ideas that they have used to great success?  I will probably only have
two weeks to work on this, with 5 class sessions.  I would really like
the students to work on a scene and present it in performance in class
at the end of the unit.  Each class period is about 50 minutes.  Also,
which plays would you recommend using?

Thank you very much in advance.

Most Sincerely,
Jodi Clark
Emerson College

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Eduardo del Rio <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 29 Sep 1997 12:51:23 -0500
Subject:        CUNY Announcement

I just noticed that in CUNY's announcement for fall events it says
Renaissance _and_ Early Modern. Is there some significance  to this?
i.e. is this a way out of the "dilemma"-to use both terms? I'm curious
to hear if anyone else is resorting to this as a way of placating both
camps?

[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Patricia Palermo <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 29 Sep 1997 14:05:08 -0400 (EDT)
Subject:        Itilpa and Shalum

The epilogue to an obscure 18C play alludes to a lovesick couple named
Itilpa and Shalum who lived in "days of old."  I have checked all the
usual sources but have come up empty.  Does anyone recognize the
allusion?

Private responses are probably best--

Many thanks,
P. Palermo
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

[4]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Carl Fortunato <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 29 Sep 97 22:40:00 -0400
Subject:        Malvolio

I just finished directing my first play: William Shakespeare's *Twelfth
Night*, wherein I also played Feste and my wife played Olivia.  The
production was not bad, in my opinion (although there were many things I
would like to do over again:).)  We did 2 shows in Central Park and 3 in
a small 50-seat theatre on Broadway.  The ones in the Park were the
better ones (a *lot* more energy), but it was almost like doing two
different plays, which I wasn't ready for.

One thing that bothered me.  After the last show (in the theatre) an
audience member told me that she felt *so sorry* for Malvolio during the
imprisonment scene.  This was not my intention!  I very much wanted to
keep Malvolio from casting a pall over the play, I very much wanted to
avoid *any* feeling that he was a tragic figure, and I wanted the scenes
to be almost *purely* comic, with the sole exception of his appearance
at the end of Act V, when it would be okay to feel sorry for him.

I *think* I avoided this in the park, where we had his "prison" the
underside of a picnic table, on which he bumped his head a few times.
But in the theatre, we just placed him in a blue spot (no actual walls)
with a blindfold, and I'm afraid that it might have made it too dark an
atmosphere.

Has anybody seen any productions where Malvolio's imprisonment was *in
no way* tragic, and if so, how was it pulled off?

[5]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jung Jimmy <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 30 Sep 1997  0:06 -0500
Subject:        Laughing and Crying, you know it's the same release.

I was wondering if anyone had suggestions on criticism focused on how
Shakespeare handled the same material in a Comedy versus a
Tragedy/History.

This notion is undeveloped but the followng examples came to mind:

Return of soldiers in Macbeth versus Much Ado
Infidelity in Othello versus Merry Wives
Overthrown ruler in Tempest or As You Like It versus the Richards and
Henrys
What's the difference between Iago and Don John

There must be better examples, or perhaps more subtle ones, (Viola's
duel with Aguecheek compared with Hal and Hotspur? is Lady Macbeth just
a Shrew gone over board?)

I was originally thinking in terms of stories or plot elements that go
in different directions because one is tragic and the other comic, but
I'll take any thoughts or suggestions at this point.

[6]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Hiroyuki Todokoro <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 30 Sep 1997 18:20:33 +0900
Subject:        merry or weary?

In the Folio version of AYL, Rosalind says on arriving at the Forest of
Arden,

   O Jupiter, how merry are my spirits!

I can't find any flaw in the text, but almost all the editors emended
'merry' following Theobald into 'weary' without any plausible reason.
For example, The New Penguin says, 'Rosalind can hardly be pretending to
be merry, to encourage Celia...' in its note (p.157). Really? Is it so
unnatural that Rosalind should counterfeit to be merry to encourage
Celia? Rosalind herself says soon after that

   I could find in my heart to disgrace my man's apparel, and to cry
like a woman, but I must    comfort the weaker vessel...'

She says 'I could' (in subjunctive mood), so, if she really complains of
her weariness, as many editors wanted to act, then she is quite
illogical, isn't she?  Here she behaves as Ganymede (Jupiter's page),
and she tries to be brave.  She says her spirits are merry, in spite of
the facet that her spirits ARE weary, but isn't that what the brave do?

What's your opinion?

Cheers,
from todok whose spirits are merry!

Re: Adaptations

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.0978.  Tuesday, 30 September 1997.

[1]     From:   Tanya Gough <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 29 Sep 1997 11:05:15 -0400
        Subj:   Japanese Adaptations

[2]     From:   John W. Mahon <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 29 Sep 1997 18:00:27 +0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0968  Re: Adaptations and Spoof

[3]     From:   Werner Habicht <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 29 Sep 97 19:54 MET DST
        Subj:   SHK 8.0960 Adaptations

[4]     From:   Jerry Bangham <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 29 Sep 1997 20:05:36 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0968  Re: Adaptations - Caesar Trilogy


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Tanya Gough <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 29 Sep 1997 11:05:15 -0400
Subject:        Japanese Adaptations

On the topic of Japanese adaptations of Shakespeare, there is an
independent troupe in Nagoya which specializes in "Rock-Kabuki" - a
modernized theatrical technique which employs modern slapstick, pop
culture references and rock music, integrated with traditional Kabuki
movement.  As far as I know, they are the only troupe in Japan to
perform Kabuki in this manner (they are also radical in their use of
female performers).  I've seen Merchant of Venice performed this way.
I've also heard tell of a Butoh version of Macbeth.  Of course, Akira
Kurosawa's films "Throne of Blood" and "Ran" spring to mind, as well.

Tanya Gough

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John W. Mahon <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 29 Sep 1997 18:00:27 +0000
Subject: 8.0968  Re: Adaptations and Spoof
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0968  Re: Adaptations and Spoof

There is a slip, surely, in Nick Clary's communication of 26 Sept about
Adaptations.  He refers to a Kabuki version of HAMLET in which there is
tripling of the roles of Hamlet, Ophelia, and Fortinbras.  Since Hamlet
and Ophelia engage in at least two conversations, one of them, of
course, "private," how can these roles be played by the same performer?

Puzzled in New Rochelle,
John Mahon

[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Werner Habicht <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 29 Sep 97 19:54 MET DST
Subject: Adaptations
Comment:        SHK 8.0960 Adaptations

An adaptation of The Tempest that originated and was performed in Papua
New Guinea, entitled "Tawarina: Island of Spirits", is described (in
English) by its author, Rosalie Everest, in *Shakespeare Jahrbuch*,
1993, p.323-328. The play makes use of material (fairy tale, magic,
etc.) current in its area.

Werner Habicht

[4]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jerry Bangham <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 29 Sep 1997 20:05:36 -0400
Subject: 8.0968  Re: Adaptations - Caesar Trilogy
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0968  Re: Adaptations - Caesar Trilogy

There was a brief note in the August 18th Theatre Record which mentions
the "Julius Caesar Trilogy" at the Riverside 3, a suburban London
theatre, 16-19 July.

A production was a joint effort of the Theatre du Sygne & Haiyu-Za
Theatre Companies. The trilogy comes from Julius Caesar, Antony &
Cleopatra and Life of Julius Caesar by Plutarch.

The Theatre Record reprints British theatre reviews, but there were
evidently no reviews of this production.

Re: Bile; Ophelia

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.0979.  Tuesday, 30 September 1997.

[1]     From:   Derek Wood <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 29 Sep 1997 12:20:56 -0300
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0962  Black bile and Medical History

[2]     From:   Harry Hill <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 29 Sep 1997 15:26:44 +0000 (HELP)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0973  Re: Ophelia

[3]     From:   David Evett <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 29 Sep 1997 13:55:08 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0973  Re: Ophelia


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Derek Wood <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 29 Sep 1997 12:20:56 -0300
Subject: 8.0962  Black bile and Medical History
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0962  Black bile and Medical History

Lawrence Babb's Elizabethan Malady  remains helpful on questions like
this one and is very readable, also. Since too much thinking could
produce an excess of melancholy, this question is especially relevant
for our profession, more so since poverty and a bad diet worsened the
condition of scholars. Certainly, your student would also enjoy looking
into Burton' Anatomy of Melancholy, I would think.

Derek Wood.

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Harry Hill <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 29 Sep 1997 15:26:44 +0000 (HELP)
Subject: 8.0973  Re: Ophelia
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0973  Re: Ophelia

Bill Godshalk: don't you think Dave Evett is whizzing an ironic arrow at
False Cardiff Himself when he says Ophelia is a figure of speech?

        Harry Hill

[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Evett <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 29 Sep 1997 13:55:08 -0400
Subject: 8.0973  Re: Ophelia
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0973  Re: Ophelia

Bill Godshalk writes: "Dave Evett's suggestion that Ophelia "is a
complicated figure of speech, not a person, and need not be accounted
for by anything in particular outside the text" seems to be based on a
rather minimalistic vision of reading and interpretation."

I said "need not," not "could not" or "should not"-otherwise I'd be even
more inconsistent than I actually am, having just accounted for some
elements of the Ophelia material by means of things outside the text in
that same post.  I might more accurately have written that Ophelia
_begins_ as a complicated figure of speech; readers do, of course,
interpret what they read, in manifold ways, and actors, of course, do,
too.  But some kinds of interpretation seem more productive than
others.  In general, I think it more productive to work on the things
that are present in texts than those that are absent-e.g. bawdy songs
vs. an account of how the singer learned them, or (Bill having written
that "We assume that Ophelia had a mother") mothers in the text
(Gertrude) vs. mothers not in the text (not only Ophelia's, but also
Polonius', and Claudius', and Rosencrans', and Gildenstern's, and the
Player King's . . .).  The repeated absence of mothers from the
Shakespearean texts has been noticed (only some of them-hundreds of such
absences merit no attention), and study of the phenomenon has proven
critically useful.  Study of the absence of an accounting for Ophelia's
knowledge of bawdy songs might be useful.  But it doesn't seem to have
much urgency-I don't think anybody has yet shown that the absence of
such accounts as regards other Shakespearean song-singers has much
interpretative significance: it's the fact that she does utter them that
seems to matter.  But I may be wrong-was the question about where she
learned them one the Cincinnati actors addressed to their dramaturg
Raised independently by him as a matter worth thinking about?  A
recurrent feature of rehearsals of that scene in productions of the
play?

Characteristically,
Dave Evett

Re: Stratford Shrew

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.0977.  Tuesday, 30 September 1997.

[1]     From:   Helen Ostovich <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 29 Sep 1997 10:32:07 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0969  Re: Sly and Shrew

[2]     From:   Tanya Gough <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 29 Sep 1997 11:04:08 -0400
        Subj:   Stratford Shrew


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Helen Ostovich <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 29 Sep 1997 10:32:07 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 8.0969  Re: Sly and Shrew
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0969  Re: Sly and Shrew

Re Dave Skeele's question:  The Stratford Ontario production had no
redeeming features I could see, and the ending did indeed feel like a
slap in the face of any one in the audience who was trying to see if a
mind lurked behind the production concept.  As for Kate and Petruchio
being "really in love" in Act 5 -- nonsense!  I've rarely seen a _Shrew_
with less animal magnetism.  The production had no gender concepts at
all.

Helen Ostovich
Department of English / Editor, _REED Newsletter_
McMaster University

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Tanya Gough <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 29 Sep 1997 11:04:08 -0400
Subject:        Stratford Shrew

I only saw the Stratford "Taming of the Shrew" in dress rehearsal, but I
found the ending contrived and dissatisfying.  Tour bus crowd-pleaser
indeed.  The production made use of unnecessary slapstick and bizarre
group sequences for no apparent reason (they certainly didn't contribute
anything to my understanding of the production).  I also interpreted the
ending as a "set up," and was very dissatisfied.  Perhaps part of the
problem was that there was nothing prior to the "sell-out" to indicate
why or when Kate and Petruchio joined forces.  I also find the
implications of this version very disturbing, although the New York
Times reveled in the idea of sex-as-commerce (perhaps the director
heightened these elements after I saw it, for there were no real
indications of it before the ending).  I preferred the non-bardic
"Equus," "Death of a Salesman" and "Oedipus Rex" this year.

Incidentally, next year's schedule hasn't been announced yet, but for
the curious among you, here's part of the short list (as far as memory
serves): Winter's Tale, Two Gentlemen of Verona, Julius Caesar, Much
Ado, a revival of last year's Waiting for Godot, Moliere's The Miser,
Man of La Mancha.

Tanya Gough

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